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Durham e-Theses
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The provision of public elementary schools in and around the city of Durham

Stanney, B. P. (1957) The provision of public elementary schools in and around the city of Durham. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The last thirty years of the nineteenth century saw an enormous expansion in the supply of schools for the children of the working classes. This occurred as a result of the Elementary education Act of 1870. Which create school boards in each district to supply public elementary schools to fill the large gaps exiting in the voluntary system. To study in detail the progress of this period one small region of the country was selected, I.E an area of one hundred square miles or so of country Durham, with the city of Durham at its centre. The development of the provision of public elementary schools in this area, together with the associated problems, has been traced in each district, throughout the thirty seven districts involved, with the help of local records and the files of the Ministry of education. Apart from the city, where there was adequate educational provision, it was essentially a region of small communities each dependent upon local pit for existence. The provision of efficient schools in these mining villages in 1870 was very poor, there being only 2,500 places for over 10,000 children. The religious bodies and the colliery owners made strenuous efforts to remedy this situation. By 1875, when the first compulsorily formed board was elected, the number of places outside the city had been more than tripled, but a deficiency still existed. The position was aggravated by the increasing population (the number of children in the area increased by 6,000 between 1871 and 1901), and the migratory character of the inhabitants. Building of new schools and enlargement of existing ones continued steadily until 1902, by which time a total of 25,000 places was available. This great increase in quantity was accompanied by a corresponding improvement in quality. Standards of construction and staffing were raised, the range of subjects constantly enlarged, and the schools made altogether happier and more efficient places.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Education
Thesis Date:1957
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:24

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